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Background: Only previous cruise experience was short "party" cruises and a 2 week trans Pacific when I was 10 (1970). Me - 50, DH - 64 - seasoned travelers and fairly active, I booked everything separately online. Sailing - Celebrity Millenium, May 14-21, Alaska Northboud (Vancouver to Seward) Departure: We flew from Sacramento, arriving at around 5:30pm on May 13. Took Canada line train ($8.75 each one way) to Marriott Renaissance, on the waterfront. It was about 4 blocks to the hotel (starting to realize I packed too much!). It was a beautiful day and we had a light dinner near the water watching the seaplanes land and take off. The hotel was very nice and I would definitely stay there again. I used reward points so the price was also right! The hotel arranged a shuttle to the dock, and advised leaving at 1pm to avoid the heaviest lines. Although it was just 5 minutes, we took the shuttle and had an easy drop off where we had new tags made up, since we had been upgraded to a suite just days before travel, and checked in our bags. Embarkation - the line through security was very long and took over 1 and ½ hours before we even got to the ship's check in. According to the security people, this was due to 3 ships being in and having to process over 6,000 people! It was the first big cruise day of the season with a lot of new people working. We were told the lines would be long all day. Overall, I thought this was handled well and we kept in good spirits, although it was a lot of standing. When we got to the Celebrity check-in, it was pretty quick as we could go through the Suite/Conceirge Class line and we had our boarding quick pass in hand. When we boarded, we were directed straight to our stateroom, no welcoming glass of bubbly (I was disappointed, although I think others did get some). Our bags were soon delivered and we met our butler, who was obviously very busy. Stateroom - 9123. Accessible Sky Suite. We had been upgraded by Celebrity from the C3 room I had selected, just a few days before the cruise. I only found out when I went to print our boarding docs the day before. The suite was nicely laid out and spacious. It appeared to be a larger version of other Veranda staterooms with room for wheelchair access (which we didn't need), including a walk in shower. There was fresh fruit and a chilled bottle of cheap bubbly (no exchanges allowed). We had the butler chill the bottle that I had packed, but didn't get a chance to ask any questions as he was busy. The balcony was wonderful although there was no table so we never had that breakfast outside. I was concerned that we had been moved from Starboard to Port side as I had wanted to be on the "land" side of the ship for the northbound cruise. It turned out not to matter for most days as there's scenery on both sides in the inside passage. A balcony is now a must have for me, although I'm not yet sold on the benefits of having a suite. The ship - Well appointed and classy, as I think many other people have mentioned. Not many obvious signs of wear and just the right size for me. Very clean and well maintained. Sanitizer stations everywhere. Lots of interesting art work throughout. Cruise Critic Party - This was nice with coffee and pastries. It was good to put a couple of names and faces together. Activities - Nice compact gym, I enjoyed the cycling (aka spin) class on the first day. It was kind of cool to be spinning while the ship is moving (I don't get seasick!). It cost $12 plus 15%. I noticed the instructor was particularly thin (but strong) compared to ones I usually see in the gym. I later recognized him as one of the ship's dancers! There were plenty of other exercise classes (some free, some not), lots of spa treatments and outdoor jogging track (5x per mile). Also various classes, lectures and gambling events throughout each day. We didn't gamble, although Bingo looked fun. I liked that there were no onboard announcements of events! We saw one movie (DH's favorite thing to do on vacation!). Each day was a different movie, mostly 1-2 years old with a couple of award winners (Hurt Locker and Grand Torino). Milos, the naturalist onboard was fantastic! We went to all three of his lectures and really enjoyed him. He was very informative and funny. He narrated our morning at Hubbard Glacier and really added to the experience. Service - mostly very good, with occasional lapses. There were a few almost surly crew members and some who just seemed overwhelmed so just quietly went about their business. I got more "no's" than I expected from the butler (on the first day) and from our head waiter. These were just for simple things too (I'm not that demanding!). I was told that suites didn't get flowers or special room service and that there were no bananas when I asked for a banana and coffee drink the next day (funny I found a bowl of bananas one floor up). We finally got our mini bar unlocked midway through the 2nd day and the butler and I agreed that we would get cappuchinos every morning at 7am and tea at 3:30, and he managed to find a source for bananas :-). After the first day, I asked him to cut back on the food as there was just to much for us to handle, but he did keep leaving cookies ("I give you excellent service, yes?"). We also asked for cheese and crackers instead of the appetizers, but I was told to just order room service for that. The fruit was replaced daily (I later found my DH was feeding the fish with the old fruit, which explains why the bowl was replenished fresh every day :-). The Headwaiter said I couldn't request changes to any dishes when I asked for one without sauce. And I could only buy wine by the glass from the sommelier, who, as I was told, was "very busy". After not getting a drink until near the end of the meal on the first day, I started buying a glass at the bar to take in with me. We barely saw our room steward, but the room was always clean and he was polite and friendly when we did see him. The head waiter was efficient. He took orders and delivered quickly and dishes were removed quickly (sometimes too much so!). The assistant worked hard but didn't speak much (I don't think his English was good, he just stared blankly at a couple of jokes we tried to make, or maybe our jokes weren't good!). The activities staff seemed nice (especially Holly) and the cruise director, Rich, was funny. We were greeted in a friendly way by most staff and the bartenders were efficient. We didn't do any ships tours, just arranged some on the spot, on our own. Dining - The MDR - I had pre-reserved, and confirmed, the early seating, 6pm. When we lined up the first night and were asked for our table number, we didn't know! I didn't know we were supposed to know our table number! Turns out we didn't have an assigned table so we had to wait in line to get one. Still keeping in good spirits, we chatted with the nice couple behind us in line while the staff worked out an issue with a group of 20 wanting to all sit together! We finally got our table assignment, 401, and were led to our table. It was a table for 8 and fantastic!! There were two people there already and then the couple that had been behind us in line was also shown to that table. There ended up being 6 of us and it was a joy to see everyone every night. Our table was aft and we had a gorgeous view every night as we ate. We really lucked out on that one and I was glad we booked traditional seating at 6pm. Our table mates were great fun and we missed them the night we ate at the Olympic. As to the food; this is something I am very picky about and one of the main reasons I picked Celebrity. That being said, I thought the MDR food was good. Not great, but it was definitely good. Hot food was hot, cold food was cold and preparations were mostly good. I had escargot three days and enjoyed them very much! We had Oysters Rockefeller one day and one of my tablemates got 4 when I got only 2. He explained that he ordered double!! So I ordered another plate, which was brought promptly. I waited until the last day to order the onion soup and salmon off the "classic" menu (items offered the same every day) and they were very good. The 2nd formal night was supposed to be "lobster" night, but that was not done well. It was a half rock lobster tail (from frozen, I'm sure), 2 good scallops and 2 large shrimp with some sort of brown sauce. I think simple drawn butter would have been better than that sauce. Also the "baked Alaska" was nothing special. It was heavily hyped, but turned out just to be rectangles of neopolitan ice cream covered with meringue and the "parade" had waiters carrying these with a little pot of flame next to it. And this after all the rolling down of window shades, turning down the lights, etc and creating a big buzz. Again, if it can't be done right, it's classier to not bother. Specialty dining - I had made our reservations well in advance of the cruise. We arrived on time and were seated in the middle of the room, near the kitchen and next to several large family groups. I asked for a window table, but was told that those were reserved for people who ate there frequently. We did get them to move us to a different table, but still in the middle of the room. I'm not sure what it means to have " Specialty restaurant seating preferences" for suite customers, but maybe we should have had some type of preference as well! The service was above par, very much in keeping with a restaurant of that advertised caliber, however the food was a mixed bag. An amuse bouche was brought out, Ceviche, that had big chunks of raw onion, that I don't do well. It left a bad taste in my mouth for some time! The goat cheese soufflE however was out of this world!! Then the salad I ordered was odd. It was whole leafs of various lettuces wrapped up and stood up like a cornstalk with a ribbon of cucumber tied around it. Of course I had to cut up the whole thing up to get it edible. Personally I don't care to have to completely deconstruct a dish to eat it. My sole was deftly filleted at the table, but it was overcooked (I had much better sole at the MDR). And my husband's steak wasn't prepared tableside as advertised, but was tender and cooked properly. I very much enjoyed the wine by the glass I ordered, two glasses of Mersault and one of Chateneouf Du Pape (sp?). At home, I drink mostly California wines, so I made a point of trying new wines on this cruise. We both had soufflE for dessert which was good. Overall, I'd call the Olympic dining experience very good, but not fabulous. The buffets were well stocked with wide choices: pizza, salads, pasta, sandwiches, Asian food, etc. We ate breakfast there a couple of times and lunch there once (where I ate way too much!!). The buffet does offer a couple of ½ carafes of nice wine for $9.95, a good deal. IMHO the best part of the buffet was the ice cream. The texture of it was more like gelato and there were always some interesting flavors! I especially loved the cinnamon and the ginger! Thankfully we didn't find the ice cream until towards the end of the cruise, or we would have gained even more weight!!! We had a nice breakfast at the Aqua Spa where I loved, loved, loved the granola and yogurt parfaits! Bars/Wine - The bars were ok. I was really looking forward to the martini bar and went to a martini tasting on the first night. Three small (but too sweet for me) martini tastes. So I ordered a classic Grey Goose ($10) which was a very large drink! It made me a bit loopy (nice way to meet my new tablemates who barely drank ). I drink my martinis pretty straight (very slight whisper of Vermouth) and they need to be shaken hard! That way little ice shards mix with the vodka (or gin) slightly diluting the alcohol without making it watery. The bartender only shook the drink twice and poured. Therefore the martini wasn't cold enough and stronger tasting than it should have been. Ok - this is minor, I know. But I find it more important to make a good basic martini (at the martini bar, no less) than to be able to mix various juices and liquors and call them martinis. I mostly drank wine by the glass as DH rarely drinks. I found the pours were all decent (5-6 oz), the wine glass types were appropriate, the range of wines was good and the prices were reasonable ($5.50 - $9). I threw our sommelier off by ordering a different wine by the glass on each night. On the last formal night, I ordered a bottle of Byron Pinot Noir ($55) that everyone enjoyed. The sommelier kept inviting me to various wine tasting events, but they usually conflicted with other activities, or were for wines I've already had. However she invited me to a tasting on the last day (as her guest!) that would have cost $20. It included 12 wines representing 6 countries (1 white and 1 red each) and was surprisingly good. I had a nice talk with the lead sommelier about the training his staff goes through and it's pretty impressive. They seem to be working hard on improving their wine program. Shows - Good, not great, but better than expected. We saw a 70's show, a dance show, iBroadway and the magic show. DH wasn't impressed with the dance show or the magic show (he sat at an angle where he could see the tricks), but I was entertained. The lead dancers (professionals)were quite good, but the ship's company was mixed in ability. The singers were ok, a bit off at times. All in all, the shows were fine. The bands - The main party band was excellent! I was surprised at the range of music they played, from Country to Rock to Pop to Funk to Blues...all good, especially the female lead. The guitar solo in My Sharona (on 70's night) was really fun to watch. The only miss with this group was an attempt at Frank Sinatra by a male singer in the group....it just wasn't in his range! The rest of the groups were ok. I enjoyed the string quartet one evening at the coffee bar. The Disco/Cosmos - Here Celebrity let me down. There was some good dance music and gorgeous views, but the smoke made the place unbearable for me and DH on several nights. We had to leave early one night when DH developed a bad headache and on another night when I had an allergy attack. One of our table couples couldn't go there at all as one of them had COPD and couldn't breathe after visiting Cosmos on the first night. Yes, smoking is only allowed on Port side, but the smoke doesn't know it's supposed to stay there. I had to leave the aft deck eating area one afternoon for the same issue. And I got to enjoy someone's cigarette while sitting in the Aquaspa hot tub early one morning as someone was hanging out next to the spa (and healthy dining area!) enjoying their morning smoke. I thought Celebrity had the most restrictive smoking policy, but I wish it excluded the night club and was a little more explicit. Attire - Jeans, sweaters, warm outdoors wear during the day. About 10% of men wore tuxes in the MDR on formal nights, along with one gentleman in cow pants on the first night and zebra pants on the 2nd. Another gentleman was a Hugh Hefner lookalike with a red satin smoking jacket (or maybe it was Hugh Hefner with an age appropriate companion!). Most people dressed up for the MDR, although nothing was enforced. I did see several (about 10) people on formal night at the show in jeans, t-shirts and sneakers although the dress code was clearly posted at the door. Oh well. The last night was a bit of a disappointment as they started shutting things down. We started getting disembarking instructions on day 5 (for a 7 day cruise). After dinner, our mini bar was locked with my milk for coffee sitting on the counter. The fruit bowl was gone (so no fruit that night or early the next morning!) and it was clear things were being prepared for the next group. I know they have a lot to do, but I paid for the first and last nights, but only got full service for the middle five! Disembarkation was smooth, we walked to the train station (1/4 mile) and checked our bags (could have taken free Seward Shuttle), but wanted the walk! We took an Iditirod Dog sledding tour, which was highly informative, ate lunch, took the free shuttle to the Sealife center and then boarded the 6:00pm train to Anchorage. The Alaskan Railroad train was a good choice with fantastic scenery. We got in around 10:30pm, still very light outside and walked uphill (why, or why did we pack so much!) to our Hotel, the Historic Anchorage. An Australian couple off our ship put us to shame by doing that same walk much easier (they only had 2 small bags!!). The hotel was nice with a good location and very nice staff. We then walked to Glacier Brewpub and had a light bite to eat and walked back. It was odd to still have some daylight at 11:30pm and see people pouring out of a concert, drunk, when it looked like 6pm! The hotel had a good breakfast (waffles, bagels and cereal) the next morning. We walked across the street to the weekend market, which was fun, then checked out and caught our plane back to Sacramento. All in all, we had a very nice trip. To wrap it up, the positives were: Alaskan scenery, the veranda (aka balcony), good ice cream, good wines, meeting lots of nice people from all over the globe, fun times at dinner, the informal tea (as Americans we love the exoticness of little sandwiches and pastries at 4pm!), parfaits and the sauna at Aquaspa (with relaxing music and a big porthole to watch the scenery) and lots of good food. Less positive were the smoke in the disco, some of the food quality missing in the Specialty restaurant and neither us, nor our attendants, knowing what amenities came with a suite and a couple of other things too minor to mention.

1st timers - Alaska amazing - cruise mostly good!

Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Sacramento_Kat

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2010
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Sky Suite 2
Background: Only previous cruise experience was short "party" cruises and a 2 week trans Pacific when I was 10 (1970). Me - 50, DH - 64 - seasoned travelers and fairly active, I booked everything separately online.
Sailing - Celebrity Millenium, May 14-21, Alaska Northboud (Vancouver to Seward)
Departure: We flew from Sacramento, arriving at around 5:30pm on May 13. Took Canada line train ($8.75 each one way) to Marriott Renaissance, on the waterfront. It was about 4 blocks to the hotel (starting to realize I packed too much!). It was a beautiful day and we had a light dinner near the water watching the seaplanes land and take off. The hotel was very nice and I would definitely stay there again. I used reward points so the price was also right!
The hotel arranged a shuttle to the dock, and advised leaving at 1pm to avoid the heaviest lines. Although it was just 5 minutes, we took the shuttle and had an easy drop off where we had new tags made up, since we had been upgraded to a suite just days before travel, and checked in our bags.
Embarkation - the line through security was very long and took over 1 and ½ hours before we even got to the ship's check in. According to the security people, this was due to 3 ships being in and having to process over 6,000 people! It was the first big cruise day of the season with a lot of new people working. We were told the lines would be long all day. Overall, I thought this was handled well and we kept in good spirits, although it was a lot of standing.
When we got to the Celebrity check-in, it was pretty quick as we could go through the Suite/Conceirge Class line and we had our boarding quick pass in hand. When we boarded, we were directed straight to our stateroom, no welcoming glass of bubbly (I was disappointed, although I think others did get some). Our bags were soon delivered and we met our butler, who was obviously very busy.
Stateroom - 9123. Accessible Sky Suite. We had been upgraded by Celebrity from the C3 room I had selected, just a few days before the cruise. I only found out when I went to print our boarding docs the day before. The suite was nicely laid out and spacious. It appeared to be a larger version of other Veranda staterooms with room for wheelchair access (which we didn't need), including a walk in shower. There was fresh fruit and a chilled bottle of cheap bubbly (no exchanges allowed). We had the butler chill the bottle that I had packed, but didn't get a chance to ask any questions as he was busy. The balcony was wonderful although there was no table so we never had that breakfast outside. I was concerned that we had been moved from Starboard to Port side as I had wanted to be on the "land" side of the ship for the northbound cruise. It turned out not to matter for most days as there's scenery on both sides in the inside passage. A balcony is now a must have for me, although I'm not yet sold on the benefits of having a suite.
The ship - Well appointed and classy, as I think many other people have mentioned. Not many obvious signs of wear and just the right size for me. Very clean and well maintained. Sanitizer stations everywhere. Lots of interesting art work throughout.
Cruise Critic Party - This was nice with coffee and pastries. It was good to put a couple of names and faces together.
Activities - Nice compact gym, I enjoyed the cycling (aka spin) class on the first day. It was kind of cool to be spinning while the ship is moving (I don't get seasick!). It cost $12 plus 15%. I noticed the instructor was particularly thin (but strong) compared to ones I usually see in the gym. I later recognized him as one of the ship's dancers! There were plenty of other exercise classes (some free, some not), lots of spa treatments and outdoor jogging track (5x per mile). Also various classes, lectures and gambling events throughout each day. We didn't gamble, although Bingo looked fun. I liked that there were no onboard announcements of events! We saw one movie (DH's favorite thing to do on vacation!). Each day was a different movie, mostly 1-2 years old with a couple of award winners (Hurt Locker and Grand Torino).
Milos, the naturalist onboard was fantastic! We went to all three of his lectures and really enjoyed him. He was very informative and funny. He narrated our morning at Hubbard Glacier and really added to the experience.
Service - mostly very good, with occasional lapses. There were a few almost surly crew members and some who just seemed overwhelmed so just quietly went about their business.
I got more "no's" than I expected from the butler (on the first day) and from our head waiter. These were just for simple things too (I'm not that demanding!). I was told that suites didn't get flowers or special room service and that there were no bananas when I asked for a banana and coffee drink the next day (funny I found a bowl of bananas one floor up). We finally got our mini bar unlocked midway through the 2nd day and the butler and I agreed that we would get cappuchinos every morning at 7am and tea at 3:30, and he managed to find a source for bananas :-). After the first day, I asked him to cut back on the food as there was just to much for us to handle, but he did keep leaving cookies ("I give you excellent service, yes?"). We also asked for cheese and crackers instead of the appetizers, but I was told to just order room service for that. The fruit was replaced daily (I later found my DH was feeding the fish with the old fruit, which explains why the bowl was replenished fresh every day :-). The Headwaiter said I couldn't request changes to any dishes when I asked for one without sauce. And I could only buy wine by the glass from the sommelier, who, as I was told, was "very busy". After not getting a drink until near the end of the meal on the first day, I started buying a glass at the bar to take in with me. We barely saw our room steward, but the room was always clean and he was polite and friendly when we did see him. The head waiter was efficient. He took orders and delivered quickly and dishes were removed quickly (sometimes too much so!). The assistant worked hard but didn't speak much (I don't think his English was good, he just stared blankly at a couple of jokes we tried to make, or maybe our jokes weren't good!).
The activities staff seemed nice (especially Holly) and the cruise director, Rich, was funny. We were greeted in a friendly way by most staff and the bartenders were efficient. We didn't do any ships tours, just arranged some on the spot, on our own.
Dining - The MDR - I had pre-reserved, and confirmed, the early seating, 6pm. When we lined up the first night and were asked for our table number, we didn't know! I didn't know we were supposed to know our table number! Turns out we didn't have an assigned table so we had to wait in line to get one. Still keeping in good spirits, we chatted with the nice couple behind us in line while the staff worked out an issue with a group of 20 wanting to all sit together! We finally got our table assignment, 401, and were led to our table. It was a table for 8 and fantastic!! There were two people there already and then the couple that had been behind us in line was also shown to that table. There ended up being 6 of us and it was a joy to see everyone every night. Our table was aft and we had a gorgeous view every night as we ate. We really lucked out on that one and I was glad we booked traditional seating at 6pm. Our table mates were great fun and we missed them the night we ate at the Olympic.
As to the food; this is something I am very picky about and one of the main reasons I picked Celebrity. That being said, I thought the MDR food was good. Not great, but it was definitely good. Hot food was hot, cold food was cold and preparations were mostly good. I had escargot three days and enjoyed them very much! We had Oysters Rockefeller one day and one of my tablemates got 4 when I got only 2. He explained that he ordered double!! So I ordered another plate, which was brought promptly. I waited until the last day to order the onion soup and salmon off the "classic" menu (items offered the same every day) and they were very good. The 2nd formal night was supposed to be "lobster" night, but that was not done well. It was a half rock lobster tail (from frozen, I'm sure), 2 good scallops and 2 large shrimp with some sort of brown sauce. I think simple drawn butter would have been better than that sauce. Also the "baked Alaska" was nothing special. It was heavily hyped, but turned out just to be rectangles of neopolitan ice cream covered with meringue and the "parade" had waiters carrying these with a little pot of flame next to it. And this after all the rolling down of window shades, turning down the lights, etc and creating a big buzz. Again, if it can't be done right, it's classier to not bother.
Specialty dining - I had made our reservations well in advance of the cruise. We arrived on time and were seated in the middle of the room, near the kitchen and next to several large family groups. I asked for a window table, but was told that those were reserved for people who ate there frequently. We did get them to move us to a different table, but still in the middle of the room. I'm not sure what it means to have " Specialty restaurant seating preferences" for suite customers, but maybe we should have had some type of preference as well! The service was above par, very much in keeping with a restaurant of that advertised caliber, however the food was a mixed bag. An amuse bouche was brought out, Ceviche, that had big chunks of raw onion, that I don't do well. It left a bad taste in my mouth for some time! The goat cheese soufflE however was out of this world!! Then the salad I ordered was odd. It was whole leafs of various lettuces wrapped up and stood up like a cornstalk with a ribbon of cucumber tied around it. Of course I had to cut up the whole thing up to get it edible. Personally I don't care to have to completely deconstruct a dish to eat it. My sole was deftly filleted at the table, but it was overcooked (I had much better sole at the MDR). And my husband's steak wasn't prepared tableside as advertised, but was tender and cooked properly. I very much enjoyed the wine by the glass I ordered, two glasses of Mersault and one of Chateneouf Du Pape (sp?). At home, I drink mostly California wines, so I made a point of trying new wines on this cruise. We both had soufflE for dessert which was good. Overall, I'd call the Olympic dining experience very good, but not fabulous.
The buffets were well stocked with wide choices: pizza, salads, pasta, sandwiches, Asian food, etc. We ate breakfast there a couple of times and lunch there once (where I ate way too much!!). The buffet does offer a couple of ½ carafes of nice wine for $9.95, a good deal. IMHO the best part of the buffet was the ice cream. The texture of it was more like gelato and there were always some interesting flavors! I especially loved the cinnamon and the ginger! Thankfully we didn't find the ice cream until towards the end of the cruise, or we would have gained even more weight!!! We had a nice breakfast at the Aqua Spa where I loved, loved, loved the granola and yogurt parfaits!
Bars/Wine - The bars were ok. I was really looking forward to the martini bar and went to a martini tasting on the first night. Three small (but too sweet for me) martini tastes. So I ordered a classic Grey Goose ($10) which was a very large drink! It made me a bit loopy (nice way to meet my new tablemates who barely drank ). I drink my martinis pretty straight (very slight whisper of Vermouth) and they need to be shaken hard! That way little ice shards mix with the vodka (or gin) slightly diluting the alcohol without making it watery. The bartender only shook the drink twice and poured. Therefore the martini wasn't cold enough and stronger tasting than it should have been. Ok - this is minor, I know. But I find it more important to make a good basic martini (at the martini bar, no less) than to be able to mix various juices and liquors and call them martinis.
I mostly drank wine by the glass as DH rarely drinks. I found the pours were all decent (5-6 oz), the wine glass types were appropriate, the range of wines was good and the prices were reasonable ($5.50 - $9). I threw our sommelier off by ordering a different wine by the glass on each night. On the last formal night, I ordered a bottle of Byron Pinot Noir ($55) that everyone enjoyed. The sommelier kept inviting me to various wine tasting events, but they usually conflicted with other activities, or were for wines I've already had. However she invited me to a tasting on the last day (as her guest!) that would have cost $20. It included 12 wines representing 6 countries (1 white and 1 red each) and was surprisingly good. I had a nice talk with the lead sommelier about the training his staff goes through and it's pretty impressive. They seem to be working hard on improving their wine program.
Shows - Good, not great, but better than expected. We saw a 70's show, a dance show, iBroadway and the magic show. DH wasn't impressed with the dance show or the magic show (he sat at an angle where he could see the tricks), but I was entertained. The lead dancers (professionals)were quite good, but the ship's company was mixed in ability. The singers were ok, a bit off at times. All in all, the shows were fine.
The bands - The main party band was excellent! I was surprised at the range of music they played, from Country to Rock to Pop to Funk to Blues...all good, especially the female lead. The guitar solo in My Sharona (on 70's night) was really fun to watch. The only miss with this group was an attempt at Frank Sinatra by a male singer in the group....it just wasn't in his range! The rest of the groups were ok. I enjoyed the string quartet one evening at the coffee bar.
The Disco/Cosmos - Here Celebrity let me down. There was some good dance music and gorgeous views, but the smoke made the place unbearable for me and DH on several nights. We had to leave early one night when DH developed a bad headache and on another night when I had an allergy attack. One of our table couples couldn't go there at all as one of them had COPD and couldn't breathe after visiting Cosmos on the first night. Yes, smoking is only allowed on Port side, but the smoke doesn't know it's supposed to stay there. I had to leave the aft deck eating area one afternoon for the same issue. And I got to enjoy someone's cigarette while sitting in the Aquaspa hot tub early one morning as someone was hanging out next to the spa (and healthy dining area!) enjoying their morning smoke. I thought Celebrity had the most restrictive smoking policy, but I wish it excluded the night club and was a little more explicit.
Attire - Jeans, sweaters, warm outdoors wear during the day. About 10% of men wore tuxes in the MDR on formal nights, along with one gentleman in cow pants on the first night and zebra pants on the 2nd. Another gentleman was a Hugh Hefner lookalike with a red satin smoking jacket (or maybe it was Hugh Hefner with an age appropriate companion!). Most people dressed up for the MDR, although nothing was enforced. I did see several (about 10) people on formal night at the show in jeans, t-shirts and sneakers although the dress code was clearly posted at the door. Oh well.
The last night was a bit of a disappointment as they started shutting things down. We started getting disembarking instructions on day 5 (for a 7 day cruise). After dinner, our mini bar was locked with my milk for coffee sitting on the counter. The fruit bowl was gone (so no fruit that night or early the next morning!) and it was clear things were being prepared for the next group. I know they have a lot to do, but I paid for the first and last nights, but only got full service for the middle five!
Disembarkation was smooth, we walked to the train station (1/4 mile) and checked our bags (could have taken free Seward Shuttle), but wanted the walk! We took an Iditirod Dog sledding tour, which was highly informative, ate lunch, took the free shuttle to the Sealife center and then boarded the 6:00pm train to Anchorage. The Alaskan Railroad train was a good choice with fantastic scenery. We got in around 10:30pm, still very light outside and walked uphill (why, or why did we pack so much!) to our Hotel, the Historic Anchorage. An Australian couple off our ship put us to shame by doing that same walk much easier (they only had 2 small bags!!). The hotel was nice with a good location and very nice staff. We then walked to Glacier Brewpub and had a light bite to eat and walked back. It was odd to still have some daylight at 11:30pm and see people pouring out of a concert, drunk, when it looked like 6pm! The hotel had a good breakfast (waffles, bagels and cereal) the next morning. We walked across the street to the weekend market, which was fun, then checked out and caught our plane back to Sacramento.
All in all, we had a very nice trip. To wrap it up, the positives were: Alaskan scenery, the veranda (aka balcony), good ice cream, good wines, meeting lots of nice people from all over the globe, fun times at dinner, the informal tea (as Americans we love the exoticness of little sandwiches and pastries at 4pm!), parfaits and the sauna at Aquaspa (with relaxing music and a big porthole to watch the scenery) and lots of good food. Less positive were the smoke in the disco, some of the food quality missing in the Specialty restaurant and neither us, nor our attendants, knowing what amenities came with a suite and a couple of other things too minor to mention.
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Cabin Review

Sky Suite 2
Cabin S2 9123
Great location midship, near stairs and glass elevators. Buffet just up one floor. Spa area down ship and up. Hallway quiet, some chair scraping upstairs early morning. Very roomy, is wheelchair accessible. Very good balcony, wide but not too deep.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews